Dec 29, 2016

2016 in 12 Photos

Here we are, the last week of December- "the days between the years"-, and a look back through the year in some photos:
So much snow! I remember calling the hospital the Monday after a crazy blizzard to make sure our ultrasound was still scheduled. Around here things can get canceled at a flake of snow.
My mom and sister planned a big celebration for my Dad's 70th birthday- friends, family, catered food and all. That was one time I looked forward to leftovers very much. ;)  That month my brother and his wife also came in town for a wedding so we all got to meet their youngest.

Signs of spring! We had a very Lenten Lent in the health department but a nice Easter to finish the month.
We laid my grandpa to rest in Arlington Cemetery at the beginning of the month.
Our first visit to a tulip and daffodil field was quite an experience. :) I could also say the same for the gestational diabetes diagnosis I got that month. :(
May was rough since it rained for 3+ weeks straight (truly awful!)- the girls' faces perfectly sum up how I felt. Also, I was 1000% pregnant. Somehow we were allowed this sunny day when Evie's preschool class had their International Day, which was great!
Oh, and I also started blogging in this new space. Good times!

We went with family to the local train festival at the beginning of the month, and rode a real, live train into the next town with appearances by Elsa and Anna. Not sure what they have to do with trains, but the girls all loved it! Then, Cora arrived! And the day after we were discharged from the hospital was our goddaughter's Baptism. And Evie attended her first Vacation Bible School that last week. It was a full month!

All I can recall about July is our family beach trip to NC at the end of the month. A good trip but logistical craziness to the max. 
Cora was baptized at a parish down there, and I got to meet up with a blogger friend!

Evie's 5th birthday and lazy summer days before the first day of Kindergarten arrived, sums up our August.
I have many great memories from attending the CWBN-MA blogging conference at the beginning of the month.
Audrey announced, "Big school kid!", to welcome her first day of preschool. And Heidi eventually perked up when her second birthday rolled around at the end of the month. ;)
My memory of October is ridiculously poor...Halloween or something?
We had *such* a warm and beautiful fall- I loved every second of it! 
Thanksgiving was a little bittersweet for me since my parents and all but two of my siblings were out of town. (What's the point of being from a big family if no one is around?? Sort of kidding. ;) We were welcomed to join my brother-in-law's family and I'm grateful for their hospitality!
Despite most of us getting sick during the month, I feel like we hit a good stride this year in terms of Advent activities and traditions. The girls' excitement and participation for all things Advent and Christmas gets better every year!

Happy (almost) New Year!

Here's a look at previous review posts:

Dec 18, 2016

My Sunday Best {7}

Today I was all set to brave the cold, with fleece-lined tights and a blanket scarf...and then found out it was 63 degrees outside.
Buffalo check skirt, blanket scarf, red and black outfit
sweater- thrifted | scarf- Nordstrom | skirt- Corilynn | wedges- Nine West

At least I wasn't wearing wool!

I really like this scarf but it's just so bulky and hard to tame! I've only worn it a few times in the last year because of that, and the fact that I have more white than cream in my closet.
We haven't been as a family to mass since the first Sunday of Advent, so it was great to go together today- and thankfully not a circus. ;) 
Our tree is up and the rest of the decorations made it out of the boxes; now I just wish those gifts would wrap themselves!

Linking up with Rosie for My Sunday Best

Dec 17, 2016

Is it possible for humans to hibernate?

We're collectively, hesitantly, heaving a sigh of relief over here that we've seen the last of an awful stomach bug that bit everyone but Cora (hopefully sweet baby will be spared!). It's been almost a week and a half of survival mode and everyone in their turn subsisting on staples of saltines and Gatorade. I feel like I'm running on fumes right now to keep up with life while taking care of things that were neglected while sick...where's the pause button?

Definitely not the Advent I was envisioning, but I've been buoyed by some bright spots.

Three of my grandparents have passed away during December; on the first anniversary of my grandpa's passing (the 1st) I came across this prayer Evie jotted down completely on her own:

"Dear God, I hope Grandpa Varney is in heaven."
 Oh, my Grinch-like heart was so moved!

We also enjoyed a nice visit from St. Nicholas
 My Grandma Varney passed away on his feast day, which I just found out was my other Grandma's birthday (the little figurine belonged to her). I read somewhere to pay attention so dates, as God loves to show us heavenly connections through them- just, so much yes to that.
We managed to decorate gingerbread houses with cousins (which Evie is claiming she's "allergic to" since she started getting sick that very night- I've yet to see that one on a medical file ;).
 Evie's taken it upon herself to read the Advent wreath prayer every night and reads the Jesse Tree verse some days. One less thing for me to do/ remember is HUGE!
 ^^^These size four diaper wearing darlings are quite a pair...and within seven pounds of each other :)
Also, Cora's chubby legs are almost too much to handle. She is just so perfectly round!
Heidi got sick the night this picture was taken. :(
Yesterday I went to bake the sugar cookie dough with Audrey and Heidi- the dough that I prepared exactly two weeks ago- and found it had a mysterious gooey substance over it. Toss!
We've been completely out of regular sugar, but somehow I remembered the easiest recipe for mints that only uses confectioner's sugar, so Audrey's "baking" request was sort of realized. I think, though,  as long as it has sugar and she gets to help and eat the final product anything is a win. :)

At the risk of severe cabin fever or death from never being alone, I went out to Walmart the other night at 9pm, where at least I could isolate myself in uncrowded aisles. It felt like a mini-vacation. I went for a bunch of essentials, including this nail polish which I am in love with! Sometimes you just *need* pretty nails.
That's all for now. We're here and we're preparing the best we can for Christ's birth. Prayers for a healthy Christmas for all!

PS- the O Antiphons start today!

Dec 5, 2016

So They Say {2}

Evie: Any number minus itself is zero.
Me: Wow, Evie, you're right...where did you learn that?
Evie: In my head. My brain gave it to me. For my birfday.

Addressing the LOUDNESS coming from Audrey's room during naptime-
Me: Honey, you really need to be quiet; I can hear you all the way downstairs.
Audrey (wearing a fake lei): Well, I'm just saving my girls because the Arabian sea has sharks.
Audrey: And I'm just tossing them onto the ship. 

Evie musing aloud in the car:
I want to go to all the places I've never been before. Gloria Days, Krispy Kreme...and, uh, Hawaii.

Observing Heidi strutting around in her diaper-
Audrey: Mom, it's not appropriate to walk around the house with just a diaper on. That's called...showing your diaper.
All you scantily clad babies, take note.
Having no luck locating her school library book-
Evie (matter-of-factly): There's just one thing to in one of my own books.

After a few minutes of trying to persuade me to get a dog (no):
Audrey: Well, I can clean up the poop with a broom and a dust pan.
And after assuring her the answer is still no-
Audrey: We can get a cat.  

In the middle of dinner a thoughtful Evie states: 
I love to eat butter. 

Evie: How old is God?
Me: He is...older than everything.
Evie: I fink he's 90 years old.

Silence at the dinner table, then-
Evie: Mom, when you're 69, what will you look like?

While visiting Cora in the hospital Audrey's first question:
Is that her container that she sleeps in?

and after giving her new sister a good long look:
I love her little feet the best of her body.

Evie (coming inside after finger-painting on the patio):
 *sigh* The mosquitoes want to drink my blood.

Evie (wailing after it was realized that Audrey accidentally left her purse at the park near the Civil War museum, where there was a soldier re-enactment that day):
Will the strange enemies take the purse?

After watching a few different musical scenes from Hello Dolly-
Audrey: Mom, why are they smiling so much? And dancing around outside?

And a parenting backfire- one day after some difficulty playing with her sisters I pulled Evie aside and tried to explain to her that Tim and I won't always be around and sisterly relationships are a gift. Well, sobbing ensued and for the rest of the afternoon Evie would intermittently tear up over the thought of Tim and I both dying. After apologizing (again) for upsetting her I asked her about being so sad.
 Evie: Because. Four girls and no parents sounds like an ugly story!

And finally...
Recently Evie proudly presented us with a card she had made (at home) for a boy in her class:
Tim: Wow, so is this you and him getting married?
Evie (quite perplexed): No- that's a picture of me marrying another man when I'm older.
Because obviously.

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